Passengers on a low income using Capital Metro bus and rail services in the US city of Austin, Texas, can now apply to join a pilot scheme for a fare-capping service integrated with the transport operator’s CapMetro transit app.
The pilot is open to passengers enrolled in health and social services such as Medicaid and enables them to receive “the benefits of a period pass without the upfront costs” by tracking their ticketing purchases per day and per month and capping the amount they are charged.
“After purchasing a predetermined number of tickets over a set period of time, riders will receive an unlimited use pass for the remainder of the period,” Capital Metro explains.
“For example, if a rider purchases two single-ride passes with a day, the rest of their trips will be free for 24 hours after the first pass is activated.
“When someone buys 33 single rides in 31 days, they will automatically receive a 31-day pass.”
The pilot marks the first implementation of a new product-based fare-capping feature developed for the Bytemark Bridge Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform. It is due to run for six months and “may expand” after the initial testing phase.
Capital Metro is also offering passengers without a credit or debit card the option of buying tickets and topping up a mobile wallet on the CapMetro app with cash.
The transport operator is making the cash-to-mobile option available at more than 250 convenience, drug and other retail stores across the Austin area.
Both the fare-capping pilot and cash-to-mobile service are being introduced “to make transit more accessible and equitable”, Capital Metro says.